UPDATED 11/11/10 8:32 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) - This Veterans Day, Americans will honor the men and women who have laid their lives on the line to fight for freedom.
In Chicago, dignitaries and elected officials will commemorate local war heroes at Soldier Field. Mayor Richard M. Daley, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and other VIPs will attend the ceremony starting at 11 a.m.
The keynote speaker at the event is Denis Healy, a Korean War veteran and co-chairman of Turtle Wax Inc.
The event will be held in front of the Doughboy Statue inside Gate 0 at Soldier Field.
Also Thursday morning, as every year, a Veterans Day Parade will be held in Bronzeville. Mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun will be among the attendees.
Chicagoans are also making announcements on Veterans Day to plan a commemoration for Vietnam veterans.
In 1986, Chicago was one of the few cities that opened its arms to Vietnam veterans with a parade. A series of celebratory events are planned for June of next year for or the 25th anniversary of the parade, and a news conference is planned to announce the events at 2 p.m. at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St.
In Wheaton, an assembly at Wheaton North High School, 701 W. Thomas Rd., will be dedicated to soldier Rob Miller. He was a 2006 graduate of the school who was killed in combat in Afghanistan. Miller was awarded the Congressional medal of honor for his actions earlier this year.
Also in honor of Veterans Day:
–Beginning at 10 a.m., Durbin will join “Da Coach” Mike Ditka in a day of community service hosted by Mission Serve, a program that asks civilians and military communities across America to come together through service and volunteerism. The service day will begin at the South Side YMCA, 6330 S. Stony Island Ave.
–At 11 a.m., a Veterans Day observance is scheduled to be held in Naperville. The service will be held in Veterans Park, on Gartner Road across from Grace United Methodist Church.
–Also at 11 a.m., veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam will gather in front of the Vietnam War Memorial at Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue to announce the launch of Operation Recovery, a campaign for service members’ rights to medical and mental health care.
–At noon, the Fox Valley Park District in Aurora will host a Veterans Day luncheon at Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave.
–Also at noon, the Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood St. in Des Plaines, will host a three-hour Veterans Day celebration. Des Plaines VFW Post 2992, the Des Plaines History Center, and the Public Library are organizing the event.
–At 12:15 p.m., a celebration to honor all veterans, their families and friends will be held at Buffalo Grove High School, at 1100 W. Dundee Rd. in Buffalo Grove.
–At 7 p.m., the National Veterans Art Museum opens its new “Intrusive Thoughts” exhibition of art made by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Artists will speak at the event. The museum is located at 1801 S. Indiana Ave.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.